A pioneering pilot, a Broadway show and a life-changing bond

Beverley Bass, a retired American Airlines pilot, and Jenn Colella, the actress who plays her in the new musical Come from Away have formed a bond through the play, reports Michael Paulson in the New York Times.

Ms. Bass has watched the show 61 times now. She was the first female captain at American Airlines, and led an all-female flight crew in 1986. On September 11, 2001, her plane was forced to divert to Gander, Newfoundland, when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 closed US airspace.

Some of the characters in Come from Away are composites of several people, and some of the things that Ms. Colella plays in the show were actually experienced by pilots other than Ms. Bass, but the showstopping song “Me and the Sky,” came almost directly from the transcript of Beverley Bass’s interview with the show’s creators. 

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